The festive season is here, and with it comes the Quoc Road Cycling Gift Guide: a handpicked selection of Hors Categorie products that any fan of the blacktop would be pleased to have plonked under their front wheel come the special day.
We've included items of varying prices, locations and categories, so no matter your budget or place in the world, you should be able to find something for the road cyclist in your life, and, have it delivered to your door either directly from the brand, or sourced from a local dealer in time for the holidays. For the last item though, delivery for Christmas might prove tricky. Read on to learn more.
OMATA One GPS Bike Speedometer
The OMATA One is an analogue speedometer that attaches to your handlebars, returning you to a simpler, more refined time of dials, bezels and rotary satisfaction. The OMATA works by transforming GPS signals into mechanical movement, which sounds pretty underwhelming until you see it in use, whereupon pushing the pedals to turn its beautifully-designed dial gets quite addictive.
Out on the road, the OMATA is pure fun; a counterpoint to the slew of real-time stats that is life on Strava with a digital cycling computer. Although Synced via companion phone app, the OMATA still stores and displays ride data should you need to retrace a route or interrogate the details once back home. The feature glaring by its absence, if one was looking to commit to the device wholly, is turn-by-turn navigation. However, according to OMATA customer support, it could offer something along those lines in the future.
Constructed with a machined aluminium body, Japanese SEIKO movement and assembled in Finland, the OMATA is undoubtedly expensive, but for pure attention to detail and engineering excellence, hardly overpriced.
And it has holiday gift written all over it.
Navigate to the Omata site.
How many times have you returned home to find that one of your handlebar end caps has pulled out, leaving you with slowly unravelling bar tape and a latte-load of pent-up frustration? Lean a road bike on a wall, and the caps catch it. But thanks to the Sim Drops by Japanese brand SimWorks, you can replace the flimsy, cheap-looking plastic caps that come with your bike or new bar tape, with solid, screwed-in aluminium ends that expand when tightened. While you might scratch them, you’ll never leave one behind.
Inexpensive, fun, colourful and useful - what more could you want?
More info over at SimWorks.
Cafe du Cycliste Claudette Jersey
It’s hard to resist the Breton-inspired styling of French brand Cafe du Cycliste’s Claudette Merino Jersey. Regarded as one of the more elegant cycling clothing brands of recent years, Cafe blend classic French design and tailoring with a thoroughly modern approach to fit, fabric and performance, of which the Claudette is a perfect example.
Made with a technical polyester/merino blend (merino benefits, synthetic fabric longevity), the Claudette sports a slim fit, a full front zip, three rear cargo pockets for essentials, a zipped keys/card pocket and a silicone gripper to aid stability.
Pas Normal Studios Winter Gloves
Scandinavian brand Pas Normal Studios did what few thought possible in recent years - create a brand as desirable as Rapha, with a wholly distinct look and design aesthetic. And their winter road cycling gloves are a case in point. Made with a minimal, unfussy and slim fitting soft shell, the Pas Normal Winter Gloves offer wind and water protection, and handily, touch-screen compatibility on the fingertips.
Few logos adorn our road bike clothing, but when it comes to branding, we’re happy to make an exception when it’s done this well.
Learn more at Pas Normal Studios.
Alba Optics Anvma Sunglasses
For road cyclists that shy away from the shades-bigger-than-my-face look, there is the Anvma from Alba Optics - heritage, handmade in Italy sunglasses for the discerning cyclist.
Available in one size fits all, the Anvma’s are made from moulded TR90 and weigh a barely-there 19g. Naturally, they offer UV400 protection and come in assorted tints for tuning to your local ride environment. And with a lens made by Carl Zeiss Vision, the Anvma boasts unrivalled distortion-free transparency and clarity of vision.
Find shade at Alba's site.
A bell on a road bike? When it’s this good, you bet. But it’s kind of hard to know just why the US-made Spurcycle Bell sits so right on the handlebars. Perhaps the size - it’s small and lovely looking. Or the sound? Clear, perfectly pitched and long-lasting. Maybe it’s just a bit of everything, but when a bicycle bell is this perfect, there’s no reason to ride without it. Alert other road users of your presence, ride safer, and never have to raise your voice again.
Ride over to Spurcycle.
Rapha Rainproof Essentials Case
A waterproof, protective case helps keep your wallet, phone and other little accessories dry and snug when tucked into a rear jersey pocket and pressed against your often less than dry back. Designed to resist real-world water ingress (and rain showers), the Rapha Essentials Case is a smart, pared-down accessory, detailed with an understated gloss printed logo, and easy-pull AquaGuard® water repellent zip. Inside, a soft divider separates cards from devices, while a zipped pocket accommodates smaller valuables.
Rapha state that the Essentials could do double-duty as an alternative tyre changing kit, but perhaps it’s too lovely for that.
Learn more at Rapha.
Smith Overtake Helmet
Helmets are a hard sell. We all know we need one, but willingly handing over your money for something that hampers style and impedes comfort sounds like a bad deal; which is perhaps why a helmet is such an excellent festive gift.
We’ve tried a lot of road cycling-focused helmets over the past few years, and the one model that seems to universally combine comfort with passable looks (sometimes, even actual style), is Smith’s Overtake Helmet.
We’re probably underselling it - the Overtake is exceedingly comfortable. And thanks to the addition of Koroyd and MIPS tech, it’s also a reassuringly protective helmet. In use, the Overtake directs the oncoming air, maximising aerodynamics and temperature regulation in one precise swoosh. Weighing in at 280g for the MIPS version, the Overtake is available in a number of seasonal colours.
See it for yourself at Smith.
Mettle Cycling Neckerchief
Feeling an unwelcome gust of wind on your neck, you reach for the zip of your jacket and find that there’s no room at the inn. In such situations, a neck warmer is the obvious solution. But when you warm up, how to un-snood without stopping to remove helmet, glasses and ephemera? Thankfully, care of the good people at Mettle Cycling, there is a better way. Allow us to present the cycling neckerchief.
Of course, any neckerchief would do, but Mettle’s version forgoes a knot in favour of a pass-through slit - pull one end through the hole, tuck the excess, and it’s secured. Worn from the outset, or pulled out to keep the chill at bay on long descents, Mettle’s ‘chief feels wonderful and stays neatly in place. Most importantly, when the temperature peaks mid-climb, a swift pull and it goes back in your rear pocket in no time. No stopping involved.
Head over to Mettle.
A Pegoretti Frame
Jumping from a cycling neckerchief to esoteric handmade steel bicycle frames takes some chutzpah. But isn’t the holiday season a time for wishes? Dario Pegoretti may have passed away this year, but we hear that the team he trained and led for so many years is working harder than ever, reorganising and recovering from the loss of their dear friend. With a flurry of new commissions in the works and long-planned developments in the top drawer, ’Officina’ Pegoretti will make a welcome appearance at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in the new year.
But with an enviable range to choose from, what is our festive Pegoretti frame of choice? Without a doubt, we’d wish for the XCR stainless steel Responsorium finished with a Falz fork, painted as a Pegoretti should - Ciavete.
Dare to dream at Pegoretti.